2023 Phoenix OL Elijah Paige talks ‘dream offer’ from ASU
Arizona State is naturally no stranger to local 2023 Phoenix Pinnacle High School offensive lineman Elijah Paige but their initial recruiting acquaintance only took place yesterday but in a decisive manner. The first time Paige called up the Sun Devils, he walked away with a scholarship offer, an act that certainly moved the needle for him.
“It's honestly a dream offer if I had one,” Paige admitted. “I describe it as a dream offer because your parents, my whole family, can come to see me play home games. When I was on the phone with them, I got to talk to the entire coaching staff. The main two coaches I talked to were (offensive line) coach Cavanaugh and (running backs) coach Aguano. As soon as coach Cavanaugh said that he was gonna hand the phone over to coach Edwards, I was like, whoa...kind of starstruck, to say the least. He (Edwards) told me congrats on the offer and that he'd love to make me a Sun Devil.
"Coach Cavanaugh in the one who offered me, and he said that he liked my film and skillset and my athleticism because usually, offensive linemen don't move very well when you're close to 300 lbs. I wouldn’t say there are too many weaknesses in my game, and I'm balanced in my run blocking and pass blocking. But I could definitely work on my run blocking and really on everything in my game, but that's what I'm focusing on the most this offseason is my run blocking. Hand placement is another thing I've been working on because I've been punching a little bit too low on pass protection.”
Paige spent just one year on the freshman team for the Pioneers and started mainly at left tackle, with some snaps taken at right tackle as well during his sophomore year. Such a transition would be challenging even under normal circumstances, and a pandemic dictated season truly enhanced that task, albeit one the lineman felt he was able to effectively handle.
“It was crazy doing this (transition) in pandemic season, but it was still definitely exciting,” Paige described. “I put in a lot of work over the quarantine (period), and obviously, it has paid off. I'm really excited for next season. My main team goal is to have an undefeated season and definitely contribute to that. And a personal goal would be to give up zero sacks.”
Paige’s play in 2020 garnered a scholarship offer from Arizona in February, and earlier this week, Utah came calling. He said that teams have been reaching out to his head coach to inquire about him, and Paige joked that he never knows what kind of news will come his way until he makes contact with a program pursuing him. On the other hand, the specific accounts giving him a follow on Twitter are undoubtedly serving as heavy hints on his recruiting front.
Today’s anticipated announcement on ending the recruiting dead period on June 1st, is one that is of great interest as Paige is eager to check out both in-state schools.
“I’m super excited to visit any school that offers me or shows interest,” Paige remarked. “I’m interested in taking a visit or going to a camp there. I'm open to anything. So I'm definitely gonna go out to ASU, and definitely gonna go out to U of A and Utah. I'll probably get up there (to those schools) sometime this summer.
“I want to play at a school that shows love and really wants me and is a place I obviously want to be at. I'm open to playing wherever whether it be Midwest, East Coast, and West Coast…I’m open to any school, honestly.”
Even when it comes to his hometown school, Paige says that there is still a lot for him to learn, but aside from the scholarship offer the Sun Devils have already made a deep impression on him in an unforgettable game.
“I saw great things from ASU last year when I watched a few of their games,” Paige noted. “One of the games I watched was against U of A when they beat him by a pretty significant amount of points (70-7). That's the game. I was most focused on watching, and I definitely was super impressed by what they're doing.”
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